Originally Posted by charlieculbert
Hey, the audiofire+added firewire port looks like a good idea. But what does it have over the M-Audio device besides more in/outs?
Stable, rock solid drivers. The only drivers better than Echo probably come from RME. Echo write drivers for other companies.
Better AD/DA conversion. They have an improved way of going about the conversion... especially the DA conversion. I can tell you a personal story here:
I was working with an MAudio FW410. Wasn't too shabby... I liked the unit. However, I got a pop in my audio one day and it sent me over the top. I was too pissed. I couldn't re-do the take. It lead me to selling the unit on Ebay, doing 3-4 weeks of research, and getting recommended the AudioFire4. All I was looking for was better drivers so I wouldn't get a pop like that again (I have a very good computer setup.. quad core... 16GB ram.. yada yada... it was tooo unacceptable).
I got the AF4, plugged everything up... and started working on a new track. I struck a drum sound. It was a low tom that came stock w/ Studio One. I swear to god... when I heard the tom, I thought my monitors were broken. I heard WAYY too much static on the tail of the drum!!!! I'm sitting there going "WTF is wrong w/ my speakers... did they bust now? not again!!". So.. I started troubleshooting. It took me maybe 5-10 minutes (too long lol) to realize that what I was hearing was ACTUALLY IN THE SAMPLE. It was just a bad sample. I had struck this same tom on my FW410 and never heard it. Why? Because the FW410's DA converters simply couldn't produce it. In addition to that... everything was noticeably louder. I mean.... SERIOUSLY louder. Much more detailed. My monitors never sounded this good.
I think went into more research.. b/c I just didn't understand why this was the case. It turns out that it's an extremely complicated and difficult task turning physical sound into just 0s and 1s... and then turning 0s and 1s back into physical sound. Think about that for a moment. How the f--k do you turn a sound wave (which is really just energy vibrating thru air in waves... like throwing a rock in the ocean) into a freaking digit?!?! Needless to say... I found my answer. There's a big night & day difference between poor/budget studio converters and the high end stuff. I don't know if i'd say Echo is high end.... but they do an extremely good job of providing very good quality converters at an affordable price.
I've never used the MAudio Delta... however since I believe it's older or the same age as the FW410.. i highly doubt the conversion is much better. So... i think it would be safe to say that the AF4 beats it in that avenue.